Over the past years, some songs by prominent Nigerian singers have been banned and prohibited by the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission). These songs have been reported by NBC to feature language, artwork, and other elements that are unacceptable or inconsistent with the commission’s rules. Furthermore, some of these songs have also been said to contain scenes that support criminal behavior, the use of narcotics, and other vices that are dangerous to one’s health and well-being and are therefore forbidden from being broadcast.
Notably, check out these 6 Nigerian songs that were banned by NBC. We bet you were unaware that the following songs were deemed unfit for broadcast and are therefore prohibited from playing on any local radio or television stations. See the list below;
Fall by Davido
The first song to note on the list of songs that have been banned by NBC is “Fall” by Afrobeats superstar, Davido, did you know that? Yes, Davido’s smash hit song “Fall” is one of the most popular Nigerian songs to be released and arguably the biggest song released by the Afropop star.Â
The song, “Fall”, has a pretty straightforward music video in which Davido daydreams about going to a masquerade party and meeting a special woman. Remarkably, you would assume that the song’s catchy melody and the artist`s popularity account for the majority of views Falls music video amassed. However, we can`t be so certain about the explicit content that NBC marked as unfit for the Nigerian audience to pay attention to. Is it the lyrics, or is it the music video?
Wo by Olamide
2017 hit single, “Wo”, by Olamide is another song that NBC officially banned from the Nigerian audience to enjoy on their local airways. The song was banned by NBC at the time of its release due to an alleged infringement of its rules and regulations.
The popular Nigerian rapper, Olamide, then claimed that he never intended for the song to offend music fans after the National Broadcasting Commission prohibited one of his songs, Wo, among others, from being played on the radio. Nonetheless, the Federal Ministry of Health’s recent response to the music video for Olamide’s new song may have had an impact on the commission’s decision, even though it did not provide any explanations for why the songs were banned.
This is Nigeria by Falz
With a letter from one of its zonal directors, Igomu Onoja, labeling a section of the song “vulgar” and describing the entire composition as “unfit for radio,” NBC announced the music’s ban in 2018.
Falz who is an esteemed Nigerian rapper and singer released a record titled “This Is Nigeria” that is entertaining and exciting to listen to. The year 2018 was when this iconic track was brought forth to the mainstream music scene, and Falz utilized the tune to discuss a variety of issues, including poor leadership, Fulani herdsmen deaths, horrible roads, inadequate healthcare, and much more that could possibly be wrong with the Nigerian society.
NBC stated in its letter as to the basis for the ban that “This Is Nigeria” is “laced with vulgar lyrics ‘This is Nigeria, look how we living now, everybody be criminal'”. Could this be an issue of the commission being triggered by Falz`s blunt use of words and visuals or did Falz possibly go too far and miss out on the rules and regulations?
Iskaba by Wande Coal
“Iskaba” by Wande Coal is yet another song that caught the board of NBC as they banned the song from being played on local radio stations and TV stations at the time of release in 2016.Â
Wande Coal who is a Nigerian celebrity singer and songwriter – former Mohits and Mavins Record label member – released the intriguing track titled Iskaba, which also features DJ Tunez, a Nigerian disc jockey, record producer, and recording artist. This song, Iskaba, despite the ban received a ton of exposure across the nation. Online, it gained a lot of streams, downloads, and views as he teamed up with DJ Tunez to continue to provide entertainment for his music lovers.
It may have skipped everyone, especially Wande Coal`s fans in Nigeria that the hit single, Iskaba, has been prohibited for listening and entertainment as NBC called the phrase from “Iskaba” that goes, “Girl you dey make me kolo, shaking the ass like kolo,” “vulgar,” and added that it “contravenes Section 3.6.1 and Section 220.127.116.11c”.
Thunder Fire You by Ric Hassani
Soon after his 2021 single “Thunder Fire You” became popular, Ric Hassani declared that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had banned the song and that radio stations were being penalized for playing it.
Notably, the song, “Thunder Fire You” – from his body of work, “The Prince I Have Become” – is a lovely study of heartbreak supported by the widely used local slang phrase “Thunder Fire You” used by many Nigerians to indicate dissatisfaction or frustration at anything. So fans were not having the ban by NBC as anything pleasing. Nigerians especially on Twitter even launched moral attacks against NBC for removing a song like “Thunder Fire You” from the radio while disregarding more controversial songs like “Cash App” and others.
Living Things by 9ice
Notably, after the Ministry of Health issued a public warning regarding Olamide’s popular song, WO, Living Things by 9ice was no longer allowed to be broadcast. Even though the song, at the time of release in 2016, had received a lot of playing on many broadcasting stations across the Nation when the ban was finally implemented, this leads us to believe that the MOH was the one who initiated the ban.
During an interview with HipTV, 9ice discussed his thoughts on the song’s ban. The veteran Nigerian singer amusing declared that he would continue to record and release songs that NBC would continue to prohibit and ban.
9ice stated – “After the ban, there was another letter that the song was not banned. But I am thanking NBC for the ban, because after the ban the song go blow so NBC I am releasing more songs soon that you guys will have to ban.”